Budae-Jjigae is a spicy soup that gained popularity during the Korean War when Koreans had very little to eat. Budae-Jjigae literally means ‘Army stew’ and used to be made from leftover meats or handouts from the US army stationed in South Korea.The dish is also referred to as Johnson Tang, a word play combining President Lyndon Johnson’s name and ‘tang’, a word meaning soup. The Budae-Jjigae capitalis the city of Uijeongbu which had many army bases during the war.
Long after the Korean War, the soup still retains its popularity. The pork and hotdog used during the war are now usually substituted with beef or chicken.
There is no fixed recipe for Budae-Jjigae as it is cooked according to the desires ofthe chef. Budae-Jjigae is usually made with any meat of choice, mushrooms, Kimchi, tofu, onions, rice cakes, noodles, gochujang and vegetables of choice. Baked beans and cheese can also be added to the soup. As with all spicy soups, it is perfect for winter and for illnesses such as common cold.
It is usually served with cooked rice.